In France, the exiled Iranian leader of the Shi'ite Moslem faith, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeiny has received a third warning from the French Government to desist from making speeches liable to "incite violence".
In France, the exiled Iranian leader of the Shi'ite Moslem faith, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeiny has received a third warning from the French Government to desist from making speeches liable to "incite violence". The Ayatollah's latest remarks coincide with a new wave of strikes and demonstrations in Iran which has seen thousand calling for the return of their religious leader from exile.
SYNOPSIS: The ayatollah has been living in the home of one of his supporters at Neauphle-le-Chateau, west of Paris, for over two months. Outside, there is always a group of newsmen. The Ayatollah has said he would prefer to overthrow the Shah by peaceful means. His latest proclamation has called on soldiers in Iran to desert, and workers to strike.
Ayatollah Khomeiny has also said that the Iranian economy and the Shah's powerbase have collapsed, and even martial law cannot save the regime. He has told newsmen he rejects any coalition government overseen by the Shah.
On Monday (4 December) the French Government, embarrassed by the Ayatollah's statements, sent a senior diplomat from the Foreign Ministry, M. Claude Chaillet, to tell him to tone down his revolutionary speeches. M. Chaillet's mission was to remind the Ayatollah that as a foreign citizen on French soil he could not use his host country as a base for issuing appeals for acts of violence. France was a land of refuge not to be used for this purpose. After their meeting, the Ayatollah's aides said he is now searching for new headquarters, possibly in Algeria or Syria, and expects to leave France shortly.